An Historical and Descriptive Sketch - One of the
Most Favored Counties of the State - Fullerton the County
Seat - One Hundred Miles From Lincoln, on the Union
Pacific Railroad - Genoa, a Town of One Thousand
christened in honor of Albinus Nance, the governor of
Nebraska at the time of its organization, lies near the
center of the state in the fifth tier of counties west of
the Missouri river and has an area of four hundred and
fifty square miles.
The land which now
comprises this county, save and except six sections, was
selected in 1857, under Buchanan's administration, by the
Pawnee Indians as their reservation, and characteristic
of the red man of the forest, the selection made is the
most beautiful tract of country in the state, where this
tribe enjoyed the hospitality of the government for
nineteen years, when they were removed under treaty to
Under an act of congress
of April 10, 1876, provision was made for the sale of
this reservation after the appraisement was completed it
was offered at pubic auction at Central City on July 15,
1878. It was sold for cash in three equal installments,
one-third to be paid at time of sale, one-third in one
year and one-third in two years, the deferred payments to
draw 6 per cent interest.
It was the general
opinion that the reservation would be divided and
attached to the adjoining counties, but the citizens who
had made investments in this land, without delay
petitioned the legislature for the organization of a new
county, deeming it more to their advantage than to be
annexed to counties already overburdened with debt.
Through the influence of Brad D. Slaughter, then chief
clerk of the house, their design was accomplished, and in
June, 1879, the governor issued his proclamation for the
organization of the county, with Fullerton designated as
the county seat.
The reservation is noted
for its agricultural advantages and water facilities,
which, no doubt were fully appreciated by the Pawnees
when they selected it in preference to other
It is one of the best
watered counties in Nebraska. The Loup river enters on
the west boundary and us an easterly course entirely
through, furnishing thirty-two miles of a rich and
productive valley from one to three miles wide. Tributary
to it and flowing from the northwest are the Beaver and
Cedar rivers and Plum, Council, Horse, Timber, South
Branch and Cottonwood creeks, all of which are bordered
with rich alluvial bottom lands.
For richness of soil
these valleys cannot be excelled, while the table lands
are preferred by many for grain raising as a large per
cent of lime enters into the composition of the land.
There is comparatively little uncultivable land in the
county and even this is in demand for grazing
All of the land has been
purchased from the government and is mostly occupied by
actual settlers, leaving but a small per cent in the
hands of speculators.
The tendency of a cash
sale of these lands by the government has been to keep
many from settling in this county for want of means, and
they have gone to other sections where home could be
secured on railroad grants or under the public land laws
of the United States.
There has been a
compensation for this loss,however, since those possessed
of means only could buy. The better and more thrifty
class have settled in the county, giving a population
composed of the very best elements which congregate in
our western states.
The new comer meets here
the same refinement and intelligence which marks society
in the older and wealthier communities.
Stock raising is one of
the leading occupations, and among those who have largely
invested in this industry may be named E. D. Gould, Gould
& Baker, Gould & LaGrange, Hiram Lewis, F. C.
Miller, T. F. Miller, C. D. Woolworth, W. H. Paton, John
Reimers, Frank Green, Frank Hodge, C. E. Brady, J. D.
Edgington, Jackson Bros., and Mr. Carleton.
is a thriving business town of 1,500 inhabitants,
located in the center of the county, at the confluence of
the Loup and Cedar rivers, and is the county seat. It is
on the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills railway, which
connects with the main line of the Union Pacific at
Columbus. The Loup river running south of the town was
spanned with a bridge two years ago at an expense of some
$8,000, giving Fullerton the advantage of communication
with Clarks, twelve miles distant on the main line of the
The beauty of the
location of this place is a subject of constant remark.
Situated as it is upon a level plateau between the
streams, with the valley of Loup on the south and the
precipitous bluffs of the Cedar on the north, it presents
a striking appearance to the traveler, approaching from
the valleys below, or gazing over it from the summit of
the encircling ridge on the west, with water winding down
on either side.
Twenty minutes walk
brings one to a place of natural beauty and of historical
interest know (sic) as Buffalo Leap or the White Wall.
Tradition tells us that the Indians utilized this
precipice, which is a hundred and sixty feet from the
river below, in the capturing of Buffalo by stampeding
them over into the stream and hence the name.
The town was platted in
1879. In June of the same year, the first building was
erected by Brad D. Slaughter, who, with Randall Fuller,
were the proprietors of the town site. The following year
immigration was rapid and it now has reached the rank of
one of the best business towns of central Nebraska. The
educational facilities are unexcelled for a place of its
size. Two years ago a large and commodious school
building was erected at an expense of nearly $6,000 and
under the management of Prof. G. W. Crozier, a full
course of study was inaugurated so that one may now have
the advantage of a high school education.
Religion has been
important factor in moulding the society of the place
through the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal
organizations, which have erected fine churches. The
Cedar river furnishes one of the finest water powers in
Nebraska, which is utilized in the operation of a large
roller flouring mill owned by Gideon Wheeler and Brad D.
Slaughter and is doing a flourishing business.
Mssrs. Fuller and Patoff
have a large elevator, and the shipments of this firm are
sufficient evidence of the productiveness of the land.
There are two banks in the place, the Citizens' with E.
D. Gould, president, F. M. LaGrange, cashier, and F. M.
Gilmore, assistant cashier; the First national, with
Channocy Wiltze, president, and T. Koch cashier. The
societies are represented by lodges of A. F. & A. M.,
I. O. O. F. and A. O. U. W. There are two newspapers
published in the place. The Nance county Journal, the
first paper established in the county is under the
management of A. L. Bixby, and the Telescope, under the
supervision and control of E. B. Spackman. A creamery is
now in operation which is doing a successful business.
There are three hotels and large brick one is being
erected, and will be opened to the public in August.
Among other business
houses are three drug stores, two hardware stores, six
grocery stores, five general merchandise stores, two
jewelry stores, two meat markets, three livery stables,
one furniture store, two barber shops, three carpenter
shops, three lumber yards, one restaurant, three
blacksmith shops, one billiard hall, one shoe shop, two
carriage shops, two harness shops, two agricultural
implement dealers and two pump and windmill dealers.
is the only other town in the county, and is situated
in the eastern part of on the Omaha, Niobrara & Black
Hills railway. It is a thriving place of nearly 1,000
inhabitants. The town was platted by Delane A. Willard.
It has a fine graded school and a commodious school
building. Here also is located a national Indian
industrial college under the management and
superintendence of Col. H. R. chase. There are at present
some 300 students. A large tract of land is connected
with the institution and instruction is given in the
various studies, including mechanics and agriculture.
Col. Chase has labored untiredly until he has brought his
college to a standard excelled by none in the United
States and too much cannot be said in commendation of him
for the successful manner in which he has managed this
The facilities for
communication with this place will soon be increased by
the construction of a bridge over the Loupe, south of the
town. The societies are represented by lodges of A. F.
& A. M. and I. O. L. G. T. There are two churches,
the Congregational and Methodist. The banking is
represented by the Bank of Genoa, with O. E. Green,
president, and H. E. Adams, cashier, and the Genoa State
bank, with S. H. Anderson, president, and G. Wilson,
The Beaver, which runs
near the place, furnishes water power for the roller
flouring mill of Delane A. Willard. The Genoa elevator
company is under the management of Hiram Lewis and W. E.
The only newspaper in the
place is the Genoa Leader, with John F. Bixby
editor. The other business houses consist of five general
merchandise stores, two drug stores, two agricultural
implement dealers, two hardware stores, one furniture
store, one harness shop, two grocery stores, two hotels,
one meat market, two livery stables, one milliner store,
one shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, one restaurant, one
saloon and two lumber yards.